Goldman Sachs
Representative Image.Reuters

A senior official at leading investment banking company Goldman Sachs was arrested in Bengaluru on Monday for swindling Rs 38 crore by logging into the computer systems of junior employees.

Marathahalli police registered a case against Ashwani Jhunjhunwala, a Vice-President at the company, the Times of India reported. The arrest came after the company's legal head Abhishek Parsheera lodged a complaint on behalf of the employees. Jhunjhunwala is being interrogated. 

Investigation revealed that Jhunjhunwala, who has been working with the company for the past four years, committed the fraud after incurring massive financial losses worth $70,000 (Rs 50 lakhs) from playing online poker. Goldman Sachs has not responded to TOI's inquiries on the scam.

The scam was brought to light after an employee reported two questionable transactions that had taken place on September 4. Two days later, an internal review committee questioned three junior employees - Gaurav Mishra, Sujith Appaiah and Abhishek Yadav - who were reporting to Jhunjunwala.

The complaint filed by the employees stated that the Vice President gained access to the computers on the pretext of reviewing their work. He would also send them on menial errands to keep them busy while he would "review" their work.

"Gaurav stated Jhunjhunwala told him to set up a settlement reconciliation service (SRS) for payment recall," the complaint stated. "Since he (Gaurav) was new to the firm and did not understand the process, Jhunjhunwala took control of the system and created the SRS."

CCTV footages and other evidence

Other revelations such as a third-party standard settlement instruction in favour of an account called 'Synergy Wisdom Ltd' in Hong Kong using Gaurav Mishra's credentials was also caught. 

The investment firm confronted Jhunjhunwala based on CCTV footages and other evidence. He admitted that on September 4 he had approved payments for $5.4 million in two instalments into the Synergy Wisdom Ltd account in a Hong Kong bank, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. He also stated that the employees whose credentials he had used to transfer the money were not involved in the fraud.

Jhunjunwala said he obtained technical guidance on illegal means of transferring the money from a former employee. Details such as the Synergy Wisdom Ltd credentials was also provided to him by the same person. The police are currently on a lookout for the ex-employee.